Villagers fear 100 homes could be allowed on appeal

Rectory Farm homes plan in Yatton

The Rectory Farm homes plan in Yatton - Credit: Mead Realisations

A Somerset village which residents say has taken its fair share of growth could see 100 new homes forced through on appeal. 

North Somerset Council refused planning permission last May after Mead Realisations refused to scale back its plans for Rectory Farm in Yatton. 

The authority said hundreds of homes were already planned in the village and the development would “deliver housing at a scale that is not anticipated or sought by the Neighbourhood Plan”. 

Opponents said the properties would be unaffordable and Yatton would no longer be a close-knit community but a “town of strangers”. 

Calling for a public inquiry to hear its appeal, Mead Realisations said the four-hectare site is sustainable and the scheme would help meet North Somerset’s housing shortfall. 

It said: “The proposal represents the part redevelopment of previously developed land to create much-needed market and affordable houses, and the important socio-economic benefits of the proposal.

“The planning balance is strongly in favour of grant of consent as there are no adverse impacts which would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits.”

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North Somerset Council is yet to respond to the appeal and a date for the hearing has not been set. 

Refusing planning permission last year, its planning officers said: “A significant number of allocations have been made at Yatton, including 631 dwellings identified in the site allocations plan, plus the allocation at Mendip Road, and any sites of up to about 25 units that might come forward at the settlement edges.

“Planned development at Yatton represents 43 per cent of planned growth within the nine service villages.”

They added: “The applicant was asked to withdraw this application and submit a revised scheme on part of the site adjoining the settlement, providing about 25 units. Such a scheme would have accorded with the strategy set out within the development plan. The applicant declined to take this route.

“As proposed, the development would deliver housing at a scale that is not anticipated or sought by the Neighbourhood Plan.”

The officers said the scheme would harm the landscape and have an unacceptable impact on highway safety, and said the developers had not justified building partly in the flood zone.

Supporters of the application had argued that more homes were needed, the growth would support local businesses and the land is close to the village centre and train station.